Photo: Greg Alber, Sea Shore Photography

Photo: Greg Alber, Sea Shore Photography

Creative Atlantic City Call to Collaboration
February 23 & 24, 2015
Hosted by The Noyes Arts Garage at Stockton University, Atlantic City, NJ

Atlantic City and its iconic boardwalk has been one of New Jersey’s – and the East Coast’s – greatest attractions, and has long inspired its residents and visitors.  However today, Atlantic City is facing a myriad of challenges amidst a rapidly changing landscape.  In late February, the Creative Atlantic City Call to Collaboration brought together over 135 people from healthcare, economic development and business leaders, education, law enforcement, municipal government, arts and culture, tourism, philanthropy, social service, as well as a mix of residents, civic leaders and those who work in Atlantic City representing a wide array of industries, cultures, ethnicities, and viewpoints for a two-day community convening.

Creative Atlantic City was hosted by The Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University, the cornerstone of the new Arts District in Atlantic City which houses 15 artist studios, galleries, shops, a café, a flexible classroom studio, and hosts special events throughout the year.  It includes a 1,200 square ft. satellite gallery of The Noyes Museum of Art, the new home of the African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey and Atlantic City’s only Fair Trade Store.

Creative Atlantic City Host Team

Michael Cagno, Noyes Museum
Diane DeLuca, Atlantic City Ballet
Allan Doerr, Caesars Entertainment
Michael Epps, The Epps Law Firm P.A.
Joyce Hagen, Atlantic Cape Community College
Sidney Hargro, Community Foundation of South Jersey
Sharon Harrington, Casino Control Commission
Pam James, Atlantic City Housing Authority
Bert Lopez, Hispanic Alliance of Atlantic City
Alex Marino, Carnegie Center/Assistant to the Provost at Stockton College
Joe Molineaux, Small Business Development Center at Stockton College
Ken Mosca, Atlantic City Electric
Phyllis Papa, Atlantic City Ballet
Cydnee Phoenix, Community Think Tank
Diane Ramftl, Caesars Entertainment
Chief Henry White, Atlantic City Police Department
Libbie Wills, 1st Ward Civic Association

Creative New Jersey’s Team in Atlantic City:

Mayor Chuck Chiarello, Buena Vista Township; Wendy Liscow, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; Pam Marvin, Monmouth Arts; and CNJ Staff: Elizabeth Murphy, Kacy O’Brien and Julie Gause.

Who Participated?

Creative Atlantic City’s creativity convening was attended by people representing a wide array of sectors and interests.  The convening welcomed individuals of all ages and ethnicities from:

Education: Atlantic Cape Community College, Atlantic City Board of Education, Carnegie Center at Stockton University, The College of New Jersey, Office of Service Learning/Stockton University, The Richard Stockton University, Rutgers University, SABIS Educational Systems, Inc., Small Business Development Center at Stockton University

Community Organizations:  Atlantic City Business and Community Association, Atlantic City Free Public Library, Atlantic City NAACP, Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City, Citizens Campaign, First Ward Civic Association, Friday is Tie Day, Inc., Hispanic Alliance of Atlantic City, Lead Act of Atlantic City, Meet AC, New Jersey Community Capital, Regional Plan Association, Union Baptist Temple, Venice Park Civic Association, Westside Neighborhood Protective Association

Arts & Culture: Absecon Lighthouse, African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey, ArtC, Atlantic City Arts Commission, Atlantic City Ballet Company, Anatolia Art & Craft Studio, Bay Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, Garden State Film Festival, Glynnis Reed Studio, Knight Sculpture Studios, KOA Nation Films, NJ Makerspace Association, Noyes Arts Garage at Stockton University, Noyes Museum of Art, Partnership Productions, Ron Ross Cohen Art, Sea Shore Photo, Susan Daly Art and Design, Walking Dead Films

Local Business & Industry: 11th Floor Creative Group, LLC, 2600 Pacific, LLC, Absecon Hospitality Corp., Atlantic City Electric, Atlantic City Your Way, Caesars Entertainment, Chowdhury Brothers, LLC, Gemco, Inc., The Epps Lawfirm, Fair Trade Global Gift Emporium, Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce, Hamilton Mall, Land Dimensions, Loza Architecture, Tanger Outlets, Write It Like You Mean It

Media: Atlantic City Times Newspaper, Free Press, NJTV, Media Mobilizing Project, New Jersey Arts News, New Jersey Stage, PCK Media, Press of Atlantic City, Public Producers, WOND 1400 AM

Social Service: Advanced Healthcare Consulting, The Arc of Atlantic County, AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, Atlantic City Rescue Mission, Diabetesalicious, Family Service Association, Jewish Family Service of Atlantic and Cape May Counties, Mental Health Association in Atlantic County, Robins Nest, Inc./Oceanside Family Success Center

Sustainability: Sustainability Trust at Stockton University

Philanthropy: Community Foundation of South Jersey, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, New Jersey Health Initiative/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Government: Atlantic City Housing Authority, Atlantic City Police Department, Atlantic County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, Atlantic County Utilities Authority, Buenavista Township, Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, City of Atlantic City, New Jersey Casino Control Commission

Local Sponsors & Partners
The Noyes Arts Garage at Stockton University
Stockton University
Hospitality partners: Carmine’s, Formica Bros. Bakery, Ginsburg Bakery, Cher Bread

NJRF Logo color v3Creative New Jersey gratefully acknowledges the support of the New Jersey Recovery Fund. Launched by the Community Foundation of NJ and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Fund supports the nonprofit sector and local communities as they pursue a thoughtful plan to help rebuild New Jersey, and to ensure that the long-term needs of the state are being met as effectively as possible.

The Issues and Ideas
Creative New Jersey’s creativity convenings in communities throughout the state utilize Open Space Technology—a highly-scalable and adaptable meeting format which creates unique opportunities for intentional, action-oriented discussions among diverse groups of people to explore areas of collaboration, and to share resources and information. The community-building power of this process comes from participants creating the agenda together, and subsequently self-organizing to lead group discussions about creative solutions to a central community question. It unleashes the leadership of every participant who is passionate about the issue at hand and wants to take action.

Over forty-four different breakout sessions were held during Creative Atlantic City’s convening and topics included:

  • How do reduce we silos and increase collaboration?
  • How do we Encourage New Business in Atlantic City?
  • How do we get the necessary education and training to implement a Creative Placemaking project?
  • How do we attract people to reside and invest in AC, especially through the Arts?
  • How do we foster Community Involvement and a Planning Process to Engage the Minority community?
  • How do we create a clean and safe environment that encourages growth, productivity, and a sense of well-being?
  • What are actionable steps to grow the business community in Atlantic City?
  • How do we encourage increased gender, ethnic and racial political representation in Atlantic City?
  • How do we create a community-driven structure to advance and resource the work of AC?
  • How can AC reengage its disenfranchised population (i.e. at-risk youth, the homeless, and individuals with criminal records)?

For more detailed information on these topics, including a full list of all ideas discussed and the names of the individuals involved in those discussions, please click on the Ideation button.

It’s not too late to join Creative Atlantic City!

Didn’t attend the convening, but want to connect and join with these creative and innovative minds in the City of Atlantic City? Please click the Get Involved link for more information on how you can join the creativity movement!